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Bare: A Collection of Ballads

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Album Review

This set of sensitive ballads features singer Madeline Eastman, who is accompanied by just pianist Tom Garvin. It immediately reminds one of Irene Kral's collaborations with Alan Broadbent in the 1970s and sometimes comes close to being as coolly emotional. Eastman is probably best-known for her wit, scatting ability, and swinging style, so this project is a departure for her. All of the songs are taken pretty slow and the emphasis is on her interpretations of the lyrics. Overall, Eastman succeeds in setting a dark and desolate but often hopeful mood, recording a date worth several listens, particularly when one is in an introspective mood.

Customer Reviews

Masterful piano accompaniment and beautiful vocal stylings!

I discovered the piano artistry of Tom Garvin back in the late 1970's at a little jazz club in North Hollywood called "The Baked Potato." You could hear some of the finest jazz musicians in LA almost any night of the week. Musicians like, Dave Grusin, Bill Mays, bassist Abe Laboriel, drummer Alex Acuña... all just "sitting in" having infectious fun on their instruments. Tom would usually be backing up someone like, jazz bassoonist, Ray Pizzi. Everyone was reading charts. I doubt there were any rehearsals ahead of time with that quality of musicianship. As a keyboard player myself, I was always in awe of Tom Garvin's playing. Very much like my respect for the great Bill Mays when I saw him perform at The Potato. These guy's are the "real deal players." They may not be as well known as Chick, Herbie, Keith or Lyle, but they are in the same "masters league." When I recently heard that Tom released "Bare: A Collection Of Ballads" with singer, Madeline Eastman, I was thrilled! Tom's piano accompaniment of Madeline's beautiful vocals is a pure delight for any jazz enthusiasts. That is, those of us who love the simplicity of a ballad done with only a piano and voice. Just listen to Kurt Weill's,"My Ship" to hear the definition of how take a familiar standard to a new level!


Born: June 27, 1954 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In her career as a jazz singer, Madeline Eastman has remained close to home while establishing a worldwide presence without recording for a major label, instead releasing a series of independently produced, critically acclaimed recordings. Born June 27, 1954, in San Francisco, CA, she grew up listening to pop tunes on the radio, including those sung by Barbra Streisand, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, and Eydie Gorme, among others. In her senior year of high school, she viewed the film Lady Sings the Blues...
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Bare: A Collection of Ballads, Madeline Eastman
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